Multi-DF      Sunday July 10th 2016

Organiser  Steve Stone

Location     Ivinghoe Common, 6km north of Berkhamstead. 

Times  Transmissions  13:30 - 16:00          Event Format may be seen here 

Tea  -   'The Travellers Rest' in Edlesborough

Steve says:
Thanks to all for coming to Invinghoe Common, especially to Robert and John. Thankfully the weather improved and I hope you all enjoyed yourselves. It's never easy to judge how difficult to make it, in the end it was probably about right. Maybe a tad on the long side, but anything shorter would have meant really hiding the triffids and this would have disadvantaged the newcomers. 
 
It's an interesting area with varied terrain. I had a choice of start location, but eventually decided on the main parking area. The shape of the area really dictated where I/J, R/S, and Y/Z would be located. I couldn't really find anywhere suitable in the Southern part for A, so eventually decided it would have to be to the North and hence reasonably close to the start. I put F/G to the South to give competitors a choice from the start. 
 
Ideally those with Y/Z as a joker would do F/G first and then proceed clockwise. Those with R/S jokers would do A/B and then proceed anticlockwise. didn't work out that way as most people seemed to A/B or I/J first. I couldn't resist putting Y/Z in the thick rhododendrons, although as some of you commented, I wouldn't bury them right in the middle. I assumed you would simply walk along the edge until the signal peaked and walk in then. Still they're supposed to be hard!!   Nothing to difficult about any of the others, although I could have put R closer to the wire fence with resulting secondary radiation problems. 

Apologies for the signal strength on some of the Minis, they were all quite audible on my set, but some people had difficulties. My extension pole was not long enough for the full extent of the aerial and probably there was excess wire resting on the ground. Some of the micros seemed much stronger than others, don't know why that should be, unless ground conditions do have a large effect. Couldn't have helped that the undergrowth got really wet with the mornings rain. 
 
Congratulations to Colin F, who benefited from having A as his joker.  Well done to Robert for 3rd place, losing out by 1 point to Tim. We shan't mention those competitors who failed to post tickets in time. 

Robert says:
 
Thanks again for yesterday.  I am spending today recovering (as I suspect we all are).   My mistakes are all too evident from the attached gps track.



Green track is making progress, and red is very slow or standing still!  It may not be totally accurate, since it loses the satellites under the trees and I have had to tweak it.  Nor is the map at all clear, the final composite version suffered from multiple copying, magnification, tweaking and scanning. 
 
You can see how I went round the thicket by Y and Z and failed to bag either.  A pity I hadn't gone for F and G instead, which should have been easier.  Reason was that I thought they were a lot further south, but hadn't realised that until I had abandoned Y/Z and was heading for A/B before end-of-play, so no time left at that point.   I really thought I had spent 30 mins after finding the site of J and going round and round it before finally discovering the triffid - at which point Tim appeared to catch me in the act - but in fact, the gps showed I "only" actually spent 20 mins there...Oh well...   
Philip had also been tracking ....

You can see the full animated version, including speeds, heights, sweat  here,  wave mouse over height graph to bring it to life.

Position Competitor Handicap Joker A B F G I J R S Y Z Total Percent
1 Colin F 90 A 80 40 23 20 17 13 32 40 23 23 221 100
2 Tim P 86 S 26 32 20 17 40 32 17 34 26 26 184 83
3 Robert V 0 J 11 11 0 0 32 80 26 23 0 0 183 82
4 Philip C 133 Y 13 15 40 32 20 17 20 20 80 40 164 74
5 Rosie M 23 I 32 17 0 0 52 26 23 26 0 0 153 69
6 Colin M 73 Y 15 20 32 40 0 15 -15 -15 64 32 145 65
7 John M 0 B 20 46 17 15 15 11 0 0 0 0 124 56
8 Bob S 0 B 17 26 0 23 0 23 0 0 0 0 89 40
9 Roy E 54 R 23 26 -26 -26 -23 -20 -80 -32 0 -20 -5 0
A negative entry denotes Txs found but tickets not posted at A before the dreaded 16:00 machine gun ...... some call this Multi-Spice others ......

Top man


Chocolate man

The third man

The  'I got my own prize man'
Very well done to Colin F, relatively new to DF and now not only a Multi-Star but currently our top DFer - the Multi-Hero!
A great effort from visiting 80m/2m Robert beginning to get his triffid eye working.
 
Not wishing to be outdone your's truly becomes the first beneficiary of the 'Multi-Spice'  to achieve  that illusive negative total - fame at last!!
With 9 Txs found but only 2 banked I stayed too long looking for Y, thought 10 minutes would get back to A but no paths seemed to go that way. Hacking through dense undergrowth my watch said that each minute was only lasting 10 seconds then .....  when I had just 100 metres to go  ...  the machine gun fired. There's nothing quite like having a bit of spice to rub into the leg wounds!  Bother - I won't be able to laugh about this anymore,  well perhaps just once more!!!
The last word must go to our Hero, how did you do it Colin?
Steve’s event was at Ringshall, a large wood occupying the corner of 2 roads to the NW & NE. After some detailed instructions about the site we started in an opening a hundred or so yards from the cars. I was rather disappointed to extract joker ‘A’ from the red bag, but it did allow me to waste no time as soon as the transmissions started. I headed NW directly towards ‘A’, running as much as I could to cover ground whilst the signal was on. ‘A’ was now on the right whilst B was a bit further on the left. B was going to give me more signal time, so I was reluctantly persuaded to continue pursuing B, as it turned out this proved the best option. B was an easy 40 and as I already knew approximately where A was, I headed straight back across the path, only to get snagged up in very wet waist high bracken, but as I was half way through I struggled on, keeping a close eye on A’s direction. Almost through the signal stopped, my set was now pointing towards a large tree, that’s worth investigating me thinks ! Bingo, everything laid out nicely behind the fallen log, triffid, black bag and nothing to get tangled up in. Another 80, tokens all posted, and I was on my way, Rosie had been close on my heels and must have spotted my exit.
 
Next was R & S to the NW, this got me close to the road, and it appeared might be on the other side. I could see a gate across the road and realised this was another small wood to the North of my map. Well the gate was too tempting, so I entered and followed the road inside the fence only to realise 2 things, R & S were now not in here, and I couldn’t get out ! That forced me to climb over the fence and continue along the road, dodging traffic until I came to the next car park, entering the main wood again. Now fairly close to R & S, I chose to concentrate on S (although R was nearer), sun was now shining bright and it didn’t take long to pick another 40 from under S’s triffid. Now R, heading South I dropped down onto the main path, as I knew R was up on the left somewhere.
I guessed how far to go before leaving the path into the cover of the trees, I passed a fence, there were a lot of pits as I came across Roy hunting for his joker.  


The signal stopped as we both scoured each pit in turn swapping places whilst Steve’s camera following our every move, I should have paid moreattention to Roy’s gasps, as I think one of them signified him finding a triffid. I waited for another signal which immediately took me to where he had gasped, as he’d got the 40 it left me with 32, but unfortunately it was all in vein for him ! I left Steve in a hurry almost slipping into a pit myself, back on the main path I decided to keep to the west side where I thought Y & Z’s weak signals were. I covered quite a long way before I needed to think about leaving the path, cutting across through open woodland towards Y. Huge Rhodo’s were now ahead, and it soon became obvious Y was in there, now without a signal I skirted the edge looking for a way in, I found one and entered, I stood for a while surveying the confines of this cave of vegetation, whilst my eyes adjusted to the dimness. The signal came on loud and in a few awkward paces I had the Tx wire in view, and the triffid was nearby, I took a 23 token (the 4th and last to be taken).  Finding my way back out to the path again Z must be next, but where ? I must have followed the Rhodo edge for a hundred yards or more eventually turning East then North to the other side, the signal was pulling me towards it now, then I found Tim scuttling in and out under low branches. The triffid was well under cover, Tim found it and graciously left the triffid off for me to take another 23. Now I didn’t know where to go next, but with only I,J,F and G to find, I checked directions on both pairs before deciding they were in the same direction.
I headed off towards G alternating signals with J, only to discover after about 5 mins that J was now behind me, that stopped me in my tracks ! I don’t want to do F & G then have to go back for I & J, so I turned about still puzzled by how this had happened. I was finding these woods very disorientating, and I can only assume now, that I had mistakenly thought F or G had been I or J, so maybe my 2 signals had in fact been F & G. On that basis it would have made little difference which pair I had tackled first, since each pair were an equal distance either side of a straight line between Z & A. Are you still with me? We are now on our way to J and might have passed Bob en-route, J was another one where I found it without a signal, my boot clashing with the triffid gave me that unmistakable sound that makes one look down and smile, but the 13 token was a little disappointing, oh well maybe ‘I’ will be better. Off to the West of a path there was a hollow, I’s signal had led me to a large tree half way down a steep bank, I immediately thought about Steve’s warning not to go down a bank on the Western flank, mmm what to do, with no signal for a while the temptation was too much, I investigated the tree climbing all around it’s base looking in all the holes between the roots, it was then I realised this was not the bank at all, but a hollow, and that it was likely to be on the other side.  There was a little path that skirted the edge and took me of the way around where John was also after ‘I’, thinking he was about to get it, the signal came on and I discovered it was closer to me, I’m not sure he saw me pick the triffid and replace it, as I stealthily left him for the path.

The cat that got the triffid!
 Trying to remember my way back to F & G, the signals took me a different way, Oddly F was much weaker than G, but as G was on for longer I decided it should be quicker to follow G. Quite an easy find but still took me 18 mins from ‘I’, and unusually still 20 points left. Just F to go now, and still a weak signal, I wondered was it F Steve said was weak at the start, I think so. F was in fact quite close and only took 4 mins to find with 23 points here, most of the triffids had been easily located once the transmitter antenna was sighted. The most difficult part for me was navigating, with all those paths criss-crossing everywhere, and only some of them on my map, I was in constant confusion. I left F at 3:23pm not knowing where A was, I stayed on paths but had to take a small track off to the NE, then found myself in the open clearing looking down towards the car park, it was then only a matter of taking the original path up to the field of bracken where I could see Steve standing by the big tree. I strolled across whilst watching Phil darting in and out of bushes, I posted the rest of my tokens into my box. After a few more minutes having been around in a complete circle Phil popped up again. We were the first 2 back and that surprised me, because I wasn’t thinking I had done all that well.
After collecting a bag from Steve I headed off with one of his maps to collect Y & Z, well that turned out to be more difficult than I remembered, and now it seemed quite dark inside those Rhodo’s, I needed quite a few transmissions to spot them, but eventually with both in the bag, I headed back along paths in what I thought was the direction to the car park, but I didn’t recognise any of them. I had taken a long route up the Eastern edge where I met Phil & Bob who were having the same trouble (thinking of a Tx in the car park, that would have been useful). The pub by now was most welcoming, a nice pint, food and then the results, Robert was 3rd, Tim 2nd, but how on earth did I manage to take 1st place I don’t know . . It took me a few minutes to realise I was also the next Hero, I couldn’t believe this was really happening, with a 90 handicap I just hadn’t thought it was possible.
 
Thanks must go to Steve for an incredibly difficult to navigate site, getting the weather sorted within minutes of the start, and excellent venue after. Also Roy once again for his part in organising all the background jobs, for which we all appreciate, as this would never happen without him. Sorry Gary, it’s time to let the Hero trophy go . . but it’ll make you try harder now ! . . What a fantastic afternoon, another one I won’t forget.
Good idea re Tx in car park Colin - we can't have DFers  lost - embarrassing!
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